Last year, Starr HIll dropped a stout called Double Bass, a big, chocolate-infused brew loaded with confectionery notes. In November, Starr Hill took this mad brew a step further, releasing three variants, along with the original, in a limited release 12-pack called the Box of Chocolates. Alternately flavored further with peppermint, chipotle pepper, and mocha, these are double chocolate stouts that are, put simply, one louder.
Each is 7.8% abv.
Starr Hill Double Bass Double Chocolate Stout (Late 2017) – Nothing different here vs. the first release, but I’m still a fan. This is like drinking a chocolate bar and sipping a coffee, with a small glass of beer on the side. I’m getting notes of dried figs and some raisiny jam, too. While it’s probably a bit too sweet for traditionalists, the chocolate character makes it perfect for after dinner. Actually, I’m grooving on it even more today than last year. A-
Starr Hill Double Bass Peppermint Double Chocolate Stout – Self-explanatory, though this isn’t as big of a success. The peppermint is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a bit at odds with the bitterness inherent to the beer, giving it a weirdly vegetal character. The chocolate gets almost completely lost in the shuffle, leaving behind a somewhat burnt-tasting finish. B
Starr Hill Double Bass Chipotle Double Chocolate Stout – The Mexican chocolate version of the beer is, like the Peppermint, overpowered by its secondary flavor element, the chipotle. There’s just a hint of cocoa up front before the pepper kicks in, hanging in there for quite a bit. It’s not all that spicy — even the heat-squeamish won’t mind it — but it doesn’t add much to the experience. The finish finds a reprise of chocolate, with a touch of coffee to round things out. B+
Starr Hill Double Bass Mocha Double Chocolate Stout – This one is infused with coffee, and as expected, it adheres the most closely to the original formula. In fact, at first blush it’s difficult to tell much of a difference, though there’s perhaps a touch more acidity in the mix, and a mildly stronger coffee character, enduring through a somewhat longer finish. Definitely just as good as the standard issue. A-
about $15 per 12-pack / starrhill.com